At United Way of Story County (UWSC), we believe that when we are United together, we can find solutions that make long-lasting, positive change in the lives of individuals and families, which is why our 2018 LIVE UNITED Campaign theme is “In order to live better, we must LIVE UNITED.” Because when we LIVE UNITED, everyone wins.
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of everyone in our community. This month we are focusing on how your dollars fund programs that allow affordable and accessible health services for all. This week our focus is on the community clinics available to those who have difficulty accessing essential care services.
United Way supports local programs that provide for the health and wellness of every person, everywhere, and tackling the issue of access to quality healthcare is a top priority. We know that healthy children perform better in school, and healthy adults perform better in the workplace. By supporting these local programs, our community as a whole will thrive.
Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) offers health services that reach patients that would otherwise go untreated. Through the Story County Dental Clinic (SCDC), uninsured or underinsured patients can receive low-cost treatments and education. Serving over 1,000 individuals in the last year, the SCDC is open to all ages and offers cleanings, exams, x-rays, and more. Specifically for younger children, the Child Dental program provides vouchers to uninsured or underinsured children to receive dental services at the SCDC or another provider. Over the last 12 months, 48 children were given these vouchers and no eligible child was turned away. The dentists that serve these children often reduce their fee to allow the clinic funds to stretch even further.
MICA also offers a Fluoride Varnish program for individuals who earn less than 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. These varnishes protect teeth from decay while preventing future, more serious oral issues. Patients of this program are also taught healthy hygiene habits and nutritional counseling that will further improve their overall health. Since this time last year, 40 children in Story County have received the fluoride treatment, greatly decreasing their risk for more expensive, restorative dental services in the future. The goal of the program is to improve dental care, which will improve the health and wellness for all. SCDC has become the dental home for many families in Story County.
Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) Home Health Services agency offers a community clinic that provides immunizations for communicable diseases, and education on common illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia. The senior health clinic, provided by MGMC Home Health Services, addresses issues specifically for the aging population such as stroke prevention, blood pressure screenings, diabetes and nutrition. With over 580 programs, MGMC Home Health Services served just under 5,000 patients last fiscal year.
United Way believes that health is a fundamental building block for a good quality of life and access to quality healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Your donor dollars are being put to work to ensure that every person, in every community in our county receives quality health services when they need it. From a child who is missing school because of poor dental hygiene, to an aged adult who needs diabetic care, programs supported through United Way are making sure that essential health services are available and accessible.